Born in Arkansas in 1940, Jimmie Durham is a sculptor, essayist and poet. He began working as a sculptor in 1963 and in 1969 he moved to Europe and studied at the Ecole de Beaux Arts in Geneva. Along with three other sculptors he formed the group Draga, which researched ways to allow the plastic arts to be more accessible to public life. At the same time, along with a Mapuche Indian from Chile and a Quechua Indian from Bolivia, he formed an organisation, Incomindios, which attempted to coordinate and encourage support for the struggle of Indians of the Americas.

In 1973, Durham returned to the US to become a full-time organiser in the American Indian Movement (AIM). During this time he served as director of the International Indian Treaty Council and representative to the United Nations. In the early 1980s Durham returned his attention to art in New York City.

In 1987 Durham moved to Cuernavaca, Mexico, where he was based until 1994 when he moved to Europe. During his time in Mexico, Durham began to exhibit internationally, including at the Whitney Biennial, Documenta IX, ICA London, Exit Art New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp and the Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels. He also published a large number of essays in books and periodicals, including Art Forum, the Art Journal and the Third Text. In 1995, A Certain Lack of Coherence a collection of his essays was published by Kala Press.

His work has been selected for the 55th edition of the Venice Biennale and he is the recipient of the 2016 Goslar Kaiserring Prize. Solo exhibitions in Europe include venues such as the Serpentine Gallery (2015), MuHKA, Antwerp (2012), the Glasgow International Festival (2010), the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2009), the Musée d'Art Contemporain, Marseilles (2003), the Museum Voor Actuele Kunst in den Hague (2003), the Kunstverein Munich (1998) and the Wittgenstein Haus, Vienna (1996). Durham has participated in the Venice Biennale (2013, 2005, 2003, 2001 and 1999), documenta (IX, 13) and the Whitney Biennale (1993 and 2006, 2014), among others.

In 1995 Phaidon published "Jimmie Durham", a comprehensive survey of his art. In 2009, on the occasion of Durham’s retrospective at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Pierres rejetées, a catalogue of Durham’s work in Europe was published.

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